Madeira Island is located at 310 miles from the African coast and 620 miles from the European continent, which is the equivalent of a 1 hour 30 minutes flight from Lisbon.
The Madeira Archipelago, discovered by the Portuguese in 1418, is made up of the islands of Madeira, Porto Santo and the uninhabited islands of Selvagens and Desertas. It is situated between latitude 32º22’20″ and 33º7’50″ with its longitude between 16º16’30W and 17º16’38″W.
These islands, because of their privileged geographical position and mountainous relief, have a surprisingly mild climate.
The island of Madeira has a surface area of 459 square miles (741 km2), (35 miles long and 13 miles wide).
Very mild average temperatures, 25ºC in the summer and 17ºC in the winter, and a moderate level of humidity, confer upon these islands exceptional subtropical features.
The seawater temperature is also very mild, because of the influence of the warm Gulf current, presenting averages of 22ºC in the summer and 18º in the winter.
The Madeira Embroidery brand is a luxury item which is valued not only for the beauty and refinement of Madeira Embroidery expressed largely in its design and in the combinations of materials and variety of stitches used with wisdom and elegance, but also for the authentic handcrafted work. No item of Madeira Embroidery is like any other. Each piece of work has the embroiderer’s personal touch in her handiwork of long hours dedicated to achieving its meticulous perfection.
The Madeira Institute of Wine, Embroidery and Handicrafts, Ltd., is responsible for the quality control of all items of Madeira Embroidery. After strict control of the perfection and authenticity of the whole production process of the embroidery item, a guarantee stamp is attached to it, in order to ensure the quality and authenticity of the items produced on the island of Madeira.
Madeira wine is a fortified wine produced in the demarcated region of Madeira with Madeira designation of origin, Madeira, Vinho da Madeira, Madère, Vin de Madère, Madera, Wein Madeira, Madeira Wine, Vino di Madera, Madeira Wijn or other translations approved by IVBAM , PI.
Recognised worldwide as a tourist destination of excellence, the reputation of Madeira is also due in part to the wine which is famed and renowned in the most varied points of the globe. Wine with the name of an island and an island with the name of a Wine.
Poncha is a traditional alcoholic drink from the island of Madeira, made with Aguardente de cana (distilled alcohol made from sugar cane juice), honey, sugar, lemon rind and with different fruit juices according to the version of Poncha, but traditionally lemon juice is used.
It is mixed together with a mixing tool created in Madeira officially called a mexelote but more commonly known as a Caralhinho (little cock), it is in fact a type of muddler created in Madeira. Caipirinha is based on Poncha.
Because of the benefits of the lemon juice and the honey, it is said in Madeira that Poncha cures the common cold and people are encouraged to drink it if they have cold like symptoms, or in cold weather to warm up.
The manufacture of articles made from wicker has been the principle activity of the island since the 19th century. Scores of families devote themselves entirely to this cottage industry, that produces hundreds of different models of furniture, baskets and almost anything you can imagine, from bird cages to fanciful animals. The pliable willow branches (osiers or withe) are grown along the banks of the rivers that flow through the valleys of Madeira, on land that can easily be flooded. The osiers are produced in great quantities and although they are sometimes exported to other manufacturing centres (Continental Portugal and England for example), the majority of the yield is used here in Madeira, and in particular the village of Camacha.
Each osier bearing plant can supply from four to ten pounds of material annually and the average life of the shrub is about 12 years, though maximum yield occurs in its 4th year. After it has been immersed in boiling water, the osier can be stripped almost immediately after cutting. The result is brown in colour and will be used only for certain types of wickerwork. The white variety of wicker is stripped when it is cold, but only after having been soaked in tanks of water for a month or more. When the osiers have been stripped, they are dried in the open air and during this process, lose about two-thirds of their original green weight. Once the drying operation is completed, the long, supple wands are ready for the hands of the artisans who, working from their homes or small workshops, fashion the many thousands of articles sold locally or exported to countries where meticulous handwork is much admired. The skill and ability of the workers increases the value of a natural resource by crafting it into something both useful and beautiful.
The Espetada is a typical Portuguese dish made usually of large chunks of beef rubbed in garlic and salt, skewered onto a bay leaf stick cooked over hot coals or wood chips. The dish can be served on a skewer which hangs from a hook on a stand as it is presented to you.
On the island of Madeira it is a very popular dish with many differing kinds of recipes and meats used. Bay leaf is usually used in the country side as well as the bay leaf stick as a skewer, bolo do caco is usually eaten with it and or Milho Frito, (fried corn in English) is a typical Madeira side dish made of corn, kale or collard greens (finely sliced), water, garlic and olive oil mixed together and then cooked. It is usually cut into cubes and fried, it can be said to be similar to polenta but is in fact a traditional side dish in Madeira.
Bolo do Caco
Bolo do caco is a bread that is circular like a cake and thus called bolo (cake in Portuguese). It is a flat circular bread, traditionally cooked on a Caco, a flat basalt stone slab. The bread is usually served simply with Garlic butter and is usually eaten as a sandwich with octopus, black scabbardfish , Espetada, Milho Frito and also used as the bread for the Prego Sandwich (Portuguese steak sandwich).
Madeira Tourism Videos
- Craftwork, Wood
Caralhinho Mixing Stick€8.90
- Cakes, Pastry
Madeira Sugarcane Syrup Cake€6.30 – €10.90
- Handkerchief, Madeira Embroidery
Lady Handkerchief White/White€8.40
- Pastry, Sugarcane Syrup
Madeira Sugarcane Syrup 450g€9.49
Traditional Madeira Eucalyptus Sweets€1.39
- Cookies, Pastry
Madeira Sugarcane Syrup Cookies€3.99
- 5 years, Madeira Wine
- 3 Years, Madeira Wine
Blandy’s Duke of Clarence€13.30
Noites da Madeira Blue Eau de Parfum€42.30